Florida Governor Ron DeSantis challenged former president Donald Trump to a one-on-one debate after the former president did not show up to the second Republican Party primary debate on Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
DeSantis made the remarks during a post-debate interview on Fox News with host Sean Hannity after the two-hour event. The 45-year-old already has a one-on-one Fox News debate with Hannity set up against California Governor Gavin Newsom on November 30 in Georgia.
“You know what, maybe we can say, since the former president didn’t come here, maybe he’d be willing to do one with you and I,” DeSantis said. “I think he owes it to our voters to come and make the case.”
“You’re now challenging, so this is going to be Hannity one-on-one debate central?” Hannity responded.
“Let’s do it,” DeSantis responded. “Let’s do it. Here’s the thing though, [Trump] owes it to the voters to come and make the case, no one’s entitled to anything. You know, you can say, ‘oh, there’s some poll months before’, no. You gotta make the case, you owe it to the voters.”
“So I’m going to show up everywhere,” he added. “I think that that’s what we were able to do and there were some important issues that were discussed tonight. There’s also others that I know you and I’ve talked about that weren’t discussed. But at the end of the day, I think the thing that was clear for this, there’s a lot of talk, a lot of people have good things to say. I’m the guy that’s done it. In Florida, we did everything I promised.”
Let's do it.
Donald Trump owes it to our voters to come and make the case. pic.twitter.com/I4aiwDY805
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) September 28, 2023
DeSantis also called out Trump during the debate for not showing up, saying that he was “missing in action.”
“He owes it to you to defend his record, where they added $7.8 trillion to the debt that set the stage for the inflation that we have,” DeSantis added.